Vietnam commemorates troops who died in Spratly battle

Thanh Nien News

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People attending a memorial service held on the Truong Sa Archipelago Tuesday to honor 64 Vietnamese sailors who died in a naval battle between Vietnamese and Chinese forces in 1988. PHOTO COURTESY OF TUOI TRE.VN
A memorial service was held Tuesday on the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago to honor 64 fallen sailors from the Vietnam People’s Navy who died battling the Chinese in 1988, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.
The ceremony was held near Johnson South Reef, Collin Reef and Lansdowne Reef, where the skirmish broke out on March 14, 1988.
A delegation of overseas Vietnamese from more than 20 countries stood alongside former Vietnam Navy sailors and the families of soldiers from the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), who died during the Battle of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands -- a naval skirmish fought between China and the Republic of Vietnam in 1974.
At 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, flower wreaths and more than 1,000 flower lanterns were dropped into the sea.
Nguyen Thanh Son, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that Vietnam is determined to protect its sovereignty and noted that contributions from overseas Vietnamese communities will prove significant to the country's continued security and development.

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